What to do if Your Child Breaks a Tooth

Dr Molloy
a Dentist and a Mum
January 24, 2017
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What to do if Your Child Breaks a Tooth

broken tooth

If your child breaks a tooth, stay calm. Here’s 5 steps you never knew could help the situation……

1. If only part of a tooth is broken off and cutting into their cheek, apply some chewing gum around the sharp edges. Keep it there until you can see a dentist.

2. If pieces of the teeth have broken off and you can gather them up, place in milk, salt water or even the child’s saliva. These may or may not be able to be used by a dentist later.

3. Injuries in the mouth bleed a lot. Control the bleeding with firm pressure applied to the area with a damp face washer. It will slow down quickly when you do this. If it cannot be controlled quickly call an ambulance or get the child to the nearest hospital.

4. Brace yourself, wash your hands first & look at the broken teeth. If the tooth has completely come out of the socket, rinse it in salt water or milk to remove any debris, for example gravel. If you need to remove debris you can carefully use tweezers. Do not rinse the tooth under tap water, do not dry it, do not clean off the tissue fibres attached to the root.
As quickly as possible, put the tooth back into the socket facing the same way as the adjacent tooth. Usually the tooth will stay there, occasionally the child may need to hold it in with gentle finger pressure.

5. If your child only has a slight chip to the front teeth following a trauma, they should be assessed by a dentist as soon as possible. The root of the tooth may have fractured below the gum line that can only be properly detected with specialist equipment.

6. Finally, even if a significant impact to the tooth occurs and there is no apparent damage, it is recommended to keep a close eye on it. It’s not unusual for the blood supply to the tooth to be damaged and for the nerve to die in the tooth. This may begin to show up years later. If you ever notice your child’s tooth changing colour/getting darker, or your child begins to complain of a sore tooth – visit a dentist for a professional assessment & best treatment results.

Note: As every incident is different, these steps are a general guide & should not replace professional, advice offered by your dentist/doctor relevant to the specific injury.